Dr Pixie McKenna launches The Mercy Hospital Foundation’s €3 million campaign

Dr Pixie McKenna launches The Mercy Hospital Foundation’s €3 million campaign

Cork’s own celebrity doctor, Dr Pixie McKenna, who is best known for her work on Channel 4’s Embarrassing Bodies, returned home this week to officially launch The Mercy Hospital Foundation’s latest campaign that aims to raise €3 million for key areas of need at The Mercy University Hospital.

The latest campaign will raise vital funds to enhance cardiology, stroke and cancer services, while also supporting services for children and teenagers at The Mercy University Hospital in the coming years.

Heart disease is Ireland’s number one killer, but at The Mercy lives are saved every day through early diagnosis and treatment of patients by Professor David Kerins, Dr Carl Vaughan and the team in the Cardiology Department. The Mercy Heart Appeal aims to raise €200,000 to fund a CT Diagnostic Cardiology package to help cardiologists assess heart disease and plan procedures to give patients the best possible outcomes; to purchase a 3D Echo machine which produces images of the heart that are used to measure blood flow and detect heart defects; and also make improvements to the Cardiology ward to enhance existing facilities to patients.

In Ireland, 10,000 people will suffer from a stroke this year, and 2,000 will die as a result. The Mercy Stroke Unit is one of the newest facilities of its kind in Ireland and was the first specialist Stroke Unit to open in Cork. In the next three years The Mercy Stroke Appeal will raise €200,000, which will go towards investing in upgrading the ward and facilities, to provide additional resources for the Occupational Therapy Team, as well as funding crucial public and family education packs to support carers of those affected by a stroke at home and in the community. The quality of care for stroke patients will be further enhanced by funding equipment used by the Speech Therapy Team to give patients the best possible opportunity to overcome any disabling effects their stroke has had on their speech and mobility.

In Ireland 30,000 new cases of cancer will be diagnosed by the end of 2014 and that number is expected to rise to over 40,000 by 2020. For those people in Munster diagnosed with cancer, The Mercy University Hospital will be at the forefront of diagnosis, research, treatment and care. The Mercy Cancer Appeal aims to raise €2.5 million by 2016 to fund key services and advancements in the treatment of and research into many cancers. €1 million is required to fund the development of The Mercy Cancer Support Centre. This centre based on the grounds of the Hospital will provide a quiet, safe place for patients and families dealing with a cancer diagnosis to come to receive support through their cancer journey. The Mercy Hospital’s Centre for Gastroenterology has been identified as one of the National Bowel Screening Centres and is the Regional Centre for Gastroenterology for Cork and Kerry. According to the National Cancer Registry men and women in Cork City and county are more likely to develop Bowel Cancer than those in any other county. €500,000 is required to support the diagnosis, treatment, and research into Bowel, Oesophageal, Stomach and Pancreatic Cancers at the Hospital.

The Mercy is home to some of the leading cancer and heart specialists in the country and €400,000 will be invested in new research into the causes of some cancers and heart disease. This includes a €150,000 grant to enable research into Pancreatic and Liver cancers which will be invaluable in the future to researchers as they develop new treatments for these cancers.

The appeal will also continue to provide funding for the very successful Rapid Access Clinic for patients with cancers of the prostate, kidney, bladder, testes and penis, as well as continued support for cancer patients and their families while being treated at the Hospital.

Finally, The Mercy Kids and Teens Appeal aims to raise €100,000 to benefit crucial areas of The Mercy’s paediatric services including the redevelopment of the Children’s Leukaemia Unit; funding for the POONS service, a mobile nursing service that administers treatment to children undergoing cancer treatment in the child’s own home; and finally bereavement counselling, art therapy and other support services for children who have lost a parent or sibling to serious illness at the hospital.

Speaking at The Mercy University Foundation’s €3 million campaign launch, Dr Pixie McKenna said “I’m delighted lend my support to this campaign which will change lives at a hospital that is so close to my own heart, having done some of my final year training at The Mercy. The four areas that the Foundation is focussing on are very different, but each is deserving of the public’s support and generosity as they are important areas of treatment and services at the Hospital. I’m urging the people of Cork and Munster to dig deep and support any or all of the appeals over the coming years – you never know when you could be affected and may need the services in your own family.”

Micheál Sheridan, CEO, The Mercy University Foundation added “Our mission is to support the Hospital in delivering the highest quality of patient care by raising funds to support advancements and innovation in the treatment and care of patients at the Mercy Hospital, the People’s Hospital. We are now tackling some of Ireland’s biggest killers; stroke, heart disease and cancer, so more than ever we need the support of the general public and the corporate community to affect real change. In return, we promise to do our very best to provide them with a world class hospital, right on their doorstep, and this is only possible with their support and the support of our ambassadors like Dr McKenna.”

Further information is available on www.mercyfundraising.ie or by calling (021) 4274076.


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